How Freedom Collapses
In "Quentin Durward" by Sir Walter
Scott, there is a very telling scene, specially in the middle of what may seem to be an
adventure book about knights and maidens in distress. Quentin, an errant knight in search
of adventure and love, comes upon a gypsy that is in chains. Quentin offers to release him
and takes pity on him. But the gypsy in return pities the knight. "I may be in
physical chains but I am still free. My mind is not bound by your rules and morals. You
may physically roam the plains but I am free where it counts the most. Go and find a way
to free yourself and stop having pity on one who is truly free" (all paraphrased).
Quentin takes the words to heart but continues on what seems to be a preordained
path. How can we avoid falling into this most final of prisons: the inner prison of
In our quest for strength, enlightenment,
altered states, true compassion, the Real World, the Guardian Angel and so on... we may
fall into a prison all our own, precisely through the work that we are doing to escape!
This is very important. The very work that we are performing as individuals and as a
group, could eventually turn into the most inescapable prison, one that may keep us caged
to the last moment of our breath. We must be constantly aware of this and ask ourselves:
Am I in command of my own work and my
Or are they now in command of me?
Have I lost my ability to freely
follow a whim on the spurr of the moment? If so, why and how? What happened?
How did freedom collapse?
There is a delicate balance between maintaining
the mood and state of Freedom and keeping a firm and fixed Will. At points the two fuse
into a single force and then there is no hesitation, no doubt. But at other times, the two
seem to be at odds with each other. Is this really happening or is one of the two sides
merely a mascarade of the Ego/Personality? Assuming the second possibility is true, how
can we tell the difference between one and the other? How to know where your true Free
Will resides? This is a most urgent and yet vast question. It can't be answered easily and
yet we must find an answer to it daily. The heart of the matter lies in decisions, in